I was sat in the garden, minding my own business, soaking up the sun in my shit cut off at the knee with a pair of kitchen scissors, hole in the arse jogging bottoms when I heard it. Kids messing about? Woman calling her husband with heavy shopping? Something more sinister? I sat up to listen, lobbing my copy of The Magic Faraway Tree to one side and knocking over my glass of Dandelion and Burdock in the process.
“Why isn’t anyone helping me?” came louder then, accompanied by huge sobs.
At this point my other half legged it out of the side gate (which is a miracle in itself since he’s normally as fast as a speeding slug) to see what was going on while I clambered up to stick my nose over our 6 foot fence like the nosiest of nosy neighbours.
There stood a forlorn looking teenage girl and for a second I thought the worst. I asked if she was ok and she said nothing but pointed at the cutest little Beagle puppy. Said puppy was lolloping about, clearly very pleased with how clever she was for having slipped her lead and not playing ball with being put back on it. Not one shit did she give that she was upsetting her owner, she was living her best life rolling round in cat poop and leaping about the place like she won the doggy lottery.
Jon tried to call it, the girl tried to call it, a little boy tried to call it, the pup was having none of it. She was clearly having the time of her life. The young girl was getting herself in such a state I went out to join them, hairy legs and all. I called the pup over and bugger me she came straight to me and I picked her up, she managed to get the lead back on her and all was well again.
I gave the girl a hug, I’ve never seen her before but I couldn’t leave her in that mess. To many it might seem silly that she had got herself into such a state over a dog but for her, in that moment, it was devastating.
I was surprised no one else had attempted to come to her aid, more so as she had been screaming for help. It was a boiling hot Saturday afternoon, people were in their gardens like we were, enjoying the spell of good weather. Probably in smarter shorts than I, granted, so why then, were we the ONLY people to stop what we were doing and go to look at what was going on?
It was the most exciting thing to have happened to us in a while, I know, we live a bit of a boring life don’t we! Retelling the story to the kids later that day, we explained how the dog had given us the slip like she was covered in butter so many times before I got hold of her and this is when she was given the nickname ‘Buttery Puppy’.
I’ve not seen her since (don’t worry I don’t think she ended up in a stew – I’ve definitely heard her barking). But the story still makes me smile – and worry that the neighbours will not be the ones to help me if a clown comes along to offer me a balloon.